Danny DeVito’s penguin wobbles as other Gotham villains shine in DC Comic

DC’s Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant # 1 highlights the charming and spooky cast of criminals who haunt the streets of Gotham City.

As compelling as Batman, Robin, and the rest of the Bat-Family are, they wouldn’t be where they are today if it hadn’t been for Gotham’s Gallery of Villains, which is as entertaining and complex as any DC hero. DC’s new 100-page anthology Gotham City Villains Birthday Giant # 1 brings together a cast of star-studded creators to celebrate a cavalcade of these characters in an entertaining but uneven collection of short stories starring Catwoman, the Penguin, the Scarecrow and many more iconic villains.

Every story in Gotham City Villains Birthday Giant # 1 follows one of Batman’s opponents on a stand-alone adventure showcasing what makes them special. Danny DeVito, Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain “Bird Cat Love” features Catwoman and the Penguin as they plan to steal thousands of vaccines around the world. Wes Craig and Jason Wordie’s “Fearless Man” pits Nightwing against the Scarecrow in a horrific city-wide blackout. In “Ophiocordyceps Lamia”, Poison Ivy attacks a chemical plant in a story by G. Willow Wilson, Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire. The legacy of the Red Hood is revisited by Stephanie Phillips and Max Fiumara. “Perfect Fit” by Dan Watters, Skylar Patridge and Marissa Louise follows Robin and a team of Gotham cops in search of the Mad Hatter. Killer Moth gets great advice from Harley Quinn in Mairghread Scott, Ariela Kristantina and “The Happiest Man in Gotham” by Trish Mulvihill. Finally, the legacy of the Al Ghul family is explored in both “Demon’s Game” by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Riccardo, Federici and Sunny Gho and “The Second Eye” by Nadia Shammas, Joshua Williamson, Max Raynor and John Kalisz.

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Catwoman and the Penguin Dance and Fight

Danny DeVito’s comedic writing debut might be the weakest story in the collection. While DeVito does a great job of capturing the voices of Penguin and Catwoman while telling a story with a unique and timely premise, the pace of the story is oddly manic and confusing at times. Much of the story is told via an ongoing conversation between the Penguin and Catwoman as they put their plan into action, but things are happening at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to emotionally invest in everything. that. The pages of artist Dan Mora are fun, but their compositions don’t give DeVito’s script much clarity. The characters move from scene to scene without being bound by time or space, making each panel look more like a frozen illustration than a piece of comic strip. Tamra Bonvillian’s colors hold the story together, helping to clarify new parameters and adding cohesive logic, but ultimately this story moves too quickly for its own good.

Lots of stories in Gotham City Villains Birthday Giant # 1 struggle to fit their premises into a short story format. However, G. Willow Wilson, Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire create a perfect story in “Ophiocordyceps Lamia”. Wilson’s story of Poison Ivy infiltrating a chemical factory to destroy it and then facing the human cost of his militant brand of activism captures the character of the villain perfectly while telling an entertaining and tense story. The art of Rios is absolutely magnificent. His panels blend into each other like roots in an overgrown garden, oscillating between extremely detailed pages and striking silhouettes, giving Jordie Bellaire the opportunity to fill every page with bold and unforgettable color.

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Poison Ivy sees pollution in Gotham

Not all the stories in Gotham City Villains Birthday Giant # 1 is perfect. Many stories need a lot more space to flourish, but this anthology is full of engaging ideas. The strongest stories in the collection do more than their fair share to wear some of the most flawed pieces.

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About the Author

Daniel K. Denny